Vegas Baby, Vegas!

Some curious logic from Jim DeMint’s office:

The President has a point that taxpayer money should not be used to pay for Wall Street fat cats to fly to Las Vegas but why is it okay for taxpayer money to be used to help pay for Hollywood elites to get there on a fancy gambling train? And why are we subsidizing leisure in a stimulus bill rather than encouraging work and greater productivity?

Several points. One — there’s no such provision in the bill. Two — there are two million people in the Las Vegas metro area, so it’s not as if taking the train to gamble is the only conceivable use of such a route. Three — lots of people go from L.A. to Las Vegas, it’s not an “elites only” option. I would refer Senator DeMint’s staff to this well-known scene from Swingers:


The larger rhetorical theme here seems to be that DeMint believes there should be no infrastructure projects of any sort in Southern California because any such project would, per se, be a taxpayer subsidy to “Hollywood elites.” It’s a pretty repugnant sentiment. For whatever reason, conservatives are constantly allowed to get away with this business of summarily dismissing vast regions of the country as unworthy and never get called on it. But this sort of thing is leading the movement on a direct (albeit, non-rail) route to a Dixie-only ghetto.